Thursday marked Easton’s 1 week old birthday. Everyone celebrates those right!? I am celebrating his life and I am celebrating the fact that I made it through the first week. Now I promise I will be posting a lot about running in the future, but today I wanted to share 8 things that I’d wish I’d know about your first week with a newborn. I’m no expert, in fact I’m far from it, but each day I learn a little more.
Here are the 8 Things No One Tells You About Your First Week with a Newborn:
It’s OK to ask for Help
I didn’t do a great job at planning out what would happen after I got home prior to delivery. I knew my husband would get a maximum of one day off. The joys of medical residency. Never have gone through this before I figured I’d figure it out. The first few days weren’t bad, but when my husband went back to work I was having a harder time adjusting than I thought.
I invited my Mom up to stay for what was going to be one night, but ended up being 3. I kept asking her to stay just one more night. It’s OK to ask for help, especially during these exhausting days. I had to learn that quickly and I can’t tell you how much it helped to have someone here, especially my Mom. It ended up being a very special time to spend together.
You Won’t Be Able to Fix it All
We all want to fix everything. I remember a day earlier this week where Easton was crying for over an hour and I just couldn’t figure out what was going on. I so badly just wanted him to be able to tell me, but of course he can’t. The truth is we can’t fix it all. Sometimes we just have to do our best.
Giving yourself a break is essential if you don’t want to go crazy. You won’t be perfect, but as long as you are doing your best that’s really all you can ask.
Housework Can Wait
If it weren’t for my Mom during this first week, my house would look absolutely awful. Your priorities quickly change and things like housework just get put on hold. That’s OK. The first weekend we were home I didn’t clean one thing, but did manage to get a few loads of clothes wash.
Do what you have to and don’t worry about the rest right now. Your priorities are on your sweet new addition and housework will eventually get done. It’s OK. Take a deep breathe and know you are doing your best.
Get out at Least Once a Day
I am not a person that can stay at home all day each day. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to being active, but if I don’t get out at least once a day then chances are I’m going to go crazy or have a small break down at some point. My husband and I talked about this prior to me giving birth and agreed that for my own sanity I needed to find a way to get out and do something each day.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be as simple as walking down the street but the fresh air and getting out of the house can do so much for your mental and physical health!
A Shower Can Work Wonders
Never underestimate the power of a shower, especially during your first week with a newborn. After a few days of being home with Easton I started to lose myself a little bit. I asked several Mom friends and they all said to try to take a shower each and every day. I only wash my hair 2-3 times per week, especially when I’m not running so even if I don’t wash my hair I make sure to get in and rinse off.
You still want to feel good and a shower really can do wonders in that area. It’s not always easy and sometimes takes some serious planning, but it has really helped me!
Take Advice (but Do What Works for You)
Everywhere you look you will probably hear parenting advice or ask for it! I’ve already been texting friends and family this week as I’ve come across questions. This world is full of a lot of advice, some good and some not-so-good.
Listen to advice and use it when you need to. However; it’s okay if something doesn’t work for you. You have to do what is best for your family, your baby, and yourself.
It’s OK to Have a Breakdown
A breakdown? Yep. I’m not ashamed to admit that during my first week with a newborn I had 2 breakdowns. Both times after I put my little one down for bed. Between the hormones and lack of sleep these early weeks can be really tough. Need to cry? Go for it. If you hold it in it will only get worse.
It’s also important to have some people you can talk to. Whether its your husband, friend, or another family member. Someone that has been there and understands. It’s completely OK to have a good cry session.
It’s ALL Worth It
Finally, no matter how tough some days during your first week with a newborn may seem it’s ALL worth it. The sleepless nights, tired mornings, crazy emotions, and constant questioning if what you are doing is right. Yep – they are all worth it.
This stage goes by so quickly and even in the exhaustion it’s important to soak in every moment. That’s my goal. Even on the tough days when I wonder if I am doing this right, I just remind myself to soak in these moments. The smallest cuddles, the moments where his eyes are wide open and looking at me – they are simple but they are everything.